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Full text of "Slavery the mere pretext for the rebellion ; not its cause : Andrew Jackson's prophecy in 1833, his last will and testament in 1843 ; bequests of his three swords: his solemn injunction to wield them "in support of our glorious Union" against all assailants, whether "foreign enemies or domestic traitors" ; picture of the conspiracy ; drawn in 1863"

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DRAWN IN 1863, 




186 3. 


The following article is copied from a Kentucky paper {The Louisville 
Journal), in which it appeared at an early stage of the Rebellion. It is from 
the pen of one whose name often occurs in Parton's Life of Jackson, in con- 
nections showing the affectionate confidence entertained for him by the old 
hero of the Hermitage. Although specially addressed at that juncture to the 
people of Tennessee, with reference to the efforts then making by the con- 
spirators to trepan that State into subserviency to their scheme of treason, the 
question here put will at once be felt by every true American heart to be one 
for which it has a ready answer. 

The prediction of "Old Hickory," here seen to have been made by him 
thirty years ago, as to what would be "the next pretext" used by the con- 
spirators then already known by him to be plotting the destruction of "the 
only good Government on the globe," in order that they might build up their 
" Southern Confederacy" upon their country's ruins. That prediction forms a 
fitting introduction to the more recent character and designs of the same con- 
spiracy, as depicted in the following pages by Paul Ambrose : 

To the Editors of the Louisville Journal : 

" Never take the Jield unless the Star-spangled Banner of your Country 
floats over your head." 

You have recently reproduced the above words of Andrew Jackson, ad- 
dressed during the secession-ordinance days of thirty years ago, to the people 
of South Carolina, his native State, as he believed, and as we all believed, 
until his biographer Parton established the title of North Carolina to the honor 
of having given the "old Roman" to our country. Your reproduction of 
them has suggested to me to send you some other words of his, no less perti- 
nent to the solemnity of the present crisis in that country's fate. A photo- 
graphic facsimile of the original letter (of the entire letter, which is quite a 
long one) has come into my possession. No one acquainted with General 
Jackson's handwriting — and I am perfectly so — could hesitate to make oath 
to its genuineness. Upon first seeing it, the gentleman who sent it to me 
having stated in the note accompanying it that he "inclosed a copy of Gen. 
Jackson's letter," I exclaimed to my family, "Why he has made a mistake and 
sent me the very letter itself; I will swear to this being the General's hand- 
writing, every word of it." In truth, however, it is only a facsimile taken by 
the photographic process. A UNION MAN. 



[ From the National Intelligencer, Washington, March 1863. ] 




Southern Ambition— The Climax Rebellion, 

The aspiration of Southern ambition which has reached to the 
climax of rebellion, was not the growth of a month or a year. 
Those who have watched the course of public events and noted 
the development of opinion in the South for years past have seen 
many signs of the coming peril ; and, if the country was not 
prepared for it, it was not for want of an occasional warning. 
Everybody knew there were restless spirits in the South who 
would rejoice in the opportunity to destroy the Union, and that 
these were endeavoring to create a sectional sentiment that 
might favor the accomplishment of their wish. But the common 
faith of the country in the patriotism of the people of the South, 
and the profound conviction of the whole North, and we may say 
also of the larger part of the Southern communities, that no 
motive existed which could possibly stir up the people of any 
State to the mad enterprise of assailing the integrity of the 
Union, dispelled every apprehension on this score. The public 
generally regarded the danger as a chimera. Even the Govern- 
ment, which ought to have been distrustful enough to put itself 
on guard, seemed to be utterly unconscious of tbe gathering 
trouble. Never was a country taken so much at unawares. 

The year 1860 was one of great prosperity. The nation ex- 
hibited something more than its customary light-heartedness, and 
had risen into a tone of hilarity from the peculiar excitements of 
the year. The spring was occupied with the celebrations of the 


advent of the Japanese Embassy, which signalized the enlarge- 
ment of our commerce with the East, and autumn was filled with 
pageants to welcome the heir of the British throne, whose visit 
was regarded as an event of national congratulation that pro- 
mised long peace and happy fellowship with the world — a token 
of new strength and greater influence to the Republic. It was 
a year distinguished by public demonstrations of faith and hope 
in the future destiny of the country. Few persons were willing 
to believe, or allowed themselves to think, that, whilst we were 
thus increasing the popularity of the nation abroad and inaugu- 
rating an era of remarkable promise to the advantage of our 
foreign and domestic interests, there was any considerable party 
amongst us who could harbor the parricidal design of crushing 
these brilliant hopes in the destruction of the country itself; or 
that the band of political agitators, to whom the public was ac- 
customed to impute such a design, could so infatuate their fol- 
lowers as to prevail with them to attempt it. It was in this 
state of confident security, and in the very midst of these peace- 
ful manifestations, that the storm broke upon the country. Never 
was a nation so utterly unprepared for such an event. 

Notwithstanding this dissonance between the tone of public 
feeling at that time, and the terrific incident which grated upon 
it with such inopportune discord, the rebellion was a predestined 
fact which came at its appointed day. The year, the month, 
almost the week of its explosion had been determined in councils 
held long before ; and the plot had no regard to the barometer of 
national sentiment, indifferent alike to the good will which de- 
lights in establishing peace, or that more congenial mood which 
promotes quarrel. 

It was foreordained that the Presidential election of 1860 
should furnish, not the occasion, but the day of dissolution. 

Let us endeavor to extract from the history of the times and 
our own observation of the character of our people what we can 
find to solve this problem. It has grown to be almost a univer- 
sally accepted fact on the northern side of Mason and Dixon's 
line that slavery is the cause of the rebellion. This is so broadly 
received that the corollary derived from it seems, at this time, 
to be the axiom upon which the special friends of the Adminis- 
tration are endeavoring to direct the conduct of the war to put 

the rebellion down. Slavery being the cause of the rebellion, 
the war, it is said, must be aimed at the extinction of slavery. 
With them it would appear to be no longer a point to compel the 
insurgents to submit to the laws and return to their allegiance ; 
but rather to act on the assumption that no peace is desirable 
which leaves slavery an existing institution. 

Slavery not in danger.— The Leaders knew it.— -The Masses were 


I think this view of the origin of our troubles requires some 
qualification. Slavery, of itself and for itself, is not the cause 
of the rebellion. I do not believe that there was one intelligent, 
leading, and thinking man in the South, when this rebellion broke 
out, who imagined that slavery was in any kind of danger either 
from the action of the National Government or the State Govern- 
ments ; nor that it could be successfully assailed by the hostility 
that was exhibited against it in the public or private opinion of 
Northern society. I think that astute Southern statesmen were 
and are perfectly convinced that the Government of the United 
States, embracing both National and State organizations, afforded 
an impregnable security to the institution of slavery, which no 
power on this continent, in its lawful course of administration, 
could disturb. And, moreover, that the guarantees which these 
organizations combined offer to that institution are not only en- 
tirely adequate to its protection, but are such as no government 
ever before supplied; and such also as no government, of the 
same scope of jurisdiction and power, would ever again agree to 
make. It is the merest sham and make-believe for any Southern 
man- to pretend that the institution of slavery was ever brought 
into peril before this rebellion exposed it to the dangers that now 
surround it. I can hardly suppose that any man of sense in the 
South could believe otherwise than that a w r ar, once provoked be- 
tween the States, would be the only effective agency which could 
destroy or impair it against the will and without the co-operation 
of the Slave States themselves. 

Slavery may be said to be the cause of the rebellion only in 
the same sense in which we may affirm that cotton and sugar are 
the cause of it, or that Southern character, habits, climate, and' 
social life are the sources out of which it has sprung. 

The Agitation of the Slave Question a pretext.— Its Operation on 
the Excitable Masses of the South. 

The agitations of the slave question were only ostensibly the 
motives to rebellion. They were the means made use of to give 
pretext and consistency to the scheme. With the unthinking or 
excitable masses of the South, it is true, these agitations were 
the principal incentives to revolt. They furnished them a ready 
argument, and made the threat of breaking up the Union familiar 
to the Southern mind, and, to a certain extent, popular. They 
had something of the same effect upon portions of the people of 
the North ; for the aversion to the Union was not alone harbored 
in the South. I have no doubt that the extreme opinions on this 
subject, preached and written by a sect in New England, had a 
most pernicious influence in extending the thought of dissolution 
through the South. There was an equal fanaticism on both sides, 
quite as evident in favor of slavery in one section as against it in 
the other. Secessionists and abolitionists, in the ultra phases of 
their respective demands, were in full accord as to the ultimate 
remedy of the grievances they imagined themselves to suffer. 
It was curious to see how, in ascending the gamut of their op- 
posite extravagances, the two parties kept pace with each other 
on the scale of which the highest note on each side was disunion. 
Both North and South were, at the beginning, in harmony in ad- 
mitting slavery to be a social evil which was to be considerately 
dealt with and abandoned when that could be done without injury 
to existing interests. From this point Southern enthusiasts di- 
verged in one direction, Northern in another. With one, slavery 
rose to be asserted successively as a harmless utility, as a bless- 
ing, a divine institution, and, finally, as "the corner-stone re- 
jected by the builders," upon which a new dynasty was to be 
constructed, and our old cherished Union to be dashed into frag- 
ments. With the other, always comparatively few and insignifi- 
cant in point of numbers and influence it is true, slavery, passing 
through equal grades, was declared to be a disgrace ; a great 
national sin ; a special curse of Heaven, and, at last, a stigma 
that made the Union " a covenant of hell :" which, therefore, should 
be shattered to atoms to give place to another order of polity. 
The two opposite lines thus converged in the same point, that of 

dissolution. This is the extreme boundary to which a passionate 
monomania has at last conducted the agitations of thirty years of 
the subject of slavery. The irritation produced by this persever- 
ing and angry reverberation of the question, from side to side, 
undoubtedly prepared the people of the South for the explosion 
of 1860, and equally prepared the people of the North for a 
prompt resentment against it; and thus misled the popular opinion 
on both sides to regard the slavery question as the immediate 
source of the attempt at revolution. But the contrivers, the 
heads and leaders of the scheme, had a much deeper purpose 
than the redress of any imagined danger to the security of the 
institution. They only took advantage of the common sensibility 
of their people on this subject to aid them in a design of much 
wider import. 

We may find a guide to our investigation of this design in a 
review of the composition and character of Southern society. 

Southern Character Analyzed. 

It is not always a gracious task to analyze national character, 
and particularly when our own countrymen are in question. If, 
therefore, I should be thought too "candid" in what I am about 
to write, I hope I shall find my warrant in the sincere respect I 
entertain for the many excellent traits of Southern character, 
and still more in the esteem with which I cherish the memory of 
many personal friends in whom I have found everything to ad- 
mire and really nothing to blame — except, indeed, the facility 
with which they have yielded to the delusion which carried them 
into this rebellion. 

If I were asked to describe in a word the primal source or 
germ out of which this commotion has sprung, I would say it was 
the egotism of Southern character. There are no people in the 
world who have a higher opinion of themselves and of their sur- 
roundings than the inhabitants of certain districts of the South. 
They are accustomed to speak of themselves as possessing the 
very highest type of civilization ; as pre-eminent in all the quali- 
ties of generous manhood ; as hospitable, frank, brave beyond all 
other people ; quick to resent dishonor ; keen in their perception 
of what is great or noble ; refined and elegant in manners. They 
claim, besides, superior talent, more acute insight, and higher 


energy than their neighbors. They are prolific in statesmen, 
orators, and politicians. They are manly, truthful, and eheval- 
resque. This is the portrait they draw of themselves. 

How and Why they Hate the Yankees. 

Now, I do not mean to dispute these pretensions. The South 
possesses, in marked degree, many of these excellent qualities, 
and I would not disparage their claim to any of them, because I 
think that the very assertion of such a claim is the proof of an 
appreciation of these virtues, which in itself is a merit of good 
omen. It shows the tendency of their aspirations^ which is one 
good step towards success in accomplishing them. But, on the 
other hand, we may remark that this self-esteem, whilst it exalts 
its possessors, is apt in the same degree to breed opinions dero- 
gatory of all other people outside of their boundary. The South 
accordingly has its aversions, and amongst these nothing is more 
conspicuous than the dislike of the common masses of the Southern 
people — I speak more particularly of the untravelled portion of 
them — to the natives of the New England States. This dislike 
is as old as the colonial era. Even in the Revolutionary war of 
1776, if it did not impair the sturdy union of effort which won 
the victory, it bred minor dissensions and vexatious jealousies. 
The application of the word " Yankee" was even then, as it is 
now, an expression of the derision with which the man of the 
South regarded the man of New England. It signified at that 
day; and long afterwards, in the vulgar apprehension, a shrewd, 
cunning chapman, who invariably outwitted the credulous 
Southron in a bargain. It has lost something of this significance 
in these later times, since the credulous Southron has grown 
more worldly, and developed some of the qualities of an expert 
chapman himself. It now rather indicates the hatred engendered 
by jealousy of New England growth and prosperity. 

In a sober estimate of all these characteristics, which it is 
hardly necessary to say are not to be attributed to the most cul- 
tivated and liberal men of the South, we may set down both the 
self-esteem and the aversion I have described to the account of 
that provincial vanity and prejudice which are always observed 
in isolated communities, and which, I think, are also, in some 
degree, distinctive of a simply agricultural people. 

All Northern People are now called Yankees. 

This popular dislike of the North, unreasonable and trivial as 
it is, has had a good deal to do with the aggravation of the temper 
which has fomented the rebellion. It quickened the jealousy of 
the South against every political movement in the country that 
indicated the probability of Northern control in the Government. 
Every revelation made by the census of the growing prepon- 
derance of Northern population — by which I mean the population 
of the Free States in general — was received by the South as the 
announcement of a rapidly advancing era when Southern domina- 
tion must give way to Northern — when the sceptre must depart 
from Judah. 

The South always afraid of Northern Presidents. Jefferson's Let- 
ter to John Taylor of Caroline, in 1798, referring to a "Scission 
of the Union," which he declared Unlawful. With the Eight to 
Secede, no Federal Government could ever Exist. 

I think we have very clear 'proof that at no time since the 
adoption of the Constitution were the politicians of the South 
disposed to tolerate the election of a Northern President, unless 
they had a satisfactory assurance that he would administer the 
Government in obedience to their dictation, or at least conforma- 
bly to their views of policy. In the time of the elder Adams 
there was a settled, and even an exasperated opposition to him, 
which threatened to break up the Government, on this ground. 
Mr. Jefferson evidently alluded to this scheme, in his letter to 
John Taylor of Caroline, in 1798, in which he wrote an argument 
to discourage it — manifestly as an answer to some suggestions on 
that subject from his correspondent. His argument, I may re- 
mark, in passing, was equally against the right and the policy of 
such a proceeding. Referring to the " scission of the Union" as 
a supposed lawful resort, he declares that with it " no Federal 
Government could ever exist." There are many proofs now ex- 
tant besides this of the reluctance of the Southern States to allow 
any influence but their own to predominate in the Government, 
even in that age of our republic, when it was not pretended that 
any Southern right was brought into jeopardy either by the 
National or State authorities or by the temper of private opinion. 


The objection to Northern rule was simply founded on the pride 
of Southern ambition. 

The Preponderance of Southern Influence Gone. The Union there- 
fore no longer to be Endured. 

It is only necessary to reflect upon the restiveness of Southern 
politicians of the last and the present generation, and to observe 
the solicitude with which they have always contemplated any 
invasion of their own supremacy in the Government, and the 
importunate zeal with which they have insisted upon preserving 
an equilibrium between Free and Slave States — meaning by that, 
the preponderance of Southern influence — to be convinced that 
the perpetuity of their control of the Administration has been the 
leading idea of their policy. The threat of disunion has been the 
customary persuasion by which they have, from time to time, 
endeavored to subdue the first symptoms of disaffection to their 
ascendency. This had become the familiar terror of every Presi- 
dential canvass since the great flurry of nullification in 1832; 
and, in fact, its frequency had made it so stale that when, at last, 
the danger was really imminent, the country was incredulous of 
the event, as much from derision of the threat as a worn-out 
trick, as from the common conviction that no cause had arisen to 
provoke it. 

Looking at the various pretexts upon which, as occasion 
prompted, this disunion was threatened — the tariff, the naviga- 
tion laws, the distribution of patronage, the Texas question, the 
admission of California, the Kansas organization, the Territories 
— all of which have been used in turn by the Cotton States to 
frighten the nation with the danger of rupture, we have in these 
the most perspicuous guide to the true motives of the breach of 
1861. The fact was then at last demonstrated that the hour was 
at hand when other interests in the country were to have a hear- 
ing and an influence, and that the majority of the nation meant 
to govern it ; that the South must take its due and proper place 
in the Union and relinquish its ambition of undivided empire. 
That long-feared and long-warded-off day had come ; and with it 
came the first real, unfeigned, absolute purpose of the partisan 
politicians of the Southern States in combination to separate the 
South from the North, and to attempt to build up a power at 


home, in which Southern politics and Southern ambition should 
have undisputed sway. The Union was enjoyed as long as it 
ministered to the ascendency of the Planting States, but was to 
be cast off as soon as the nation reached that epoch in its pro- 
gress at which it was able to release itself from the thraldom of 
sectional control, and to regulate its policy in accordance with the 
demands of the general welfare. 

Intense Selfishness of the Disunion Plot. 

Never was the selfishness, which is the proverbial sin of poli- 
ticians and the common imputation against corporate bodies, 
which the nobler qualities of individual manhood scorns and the 
morality of social life condemns, more conspicuously illustrated 
than in this example furnished by a people who boast not less of 
their honor than of their statesmanship. During a period of 
seventy years the oldest of these States — and the younger from 
the date of their organization — had drawn from the Union a 
power and prosperity they never could have obtained alone. It is 
not too much to affirm that they are indebted to the Union for 
everything which has made their position in the eye of the world 
worthy of consideration as a national power. To the Union the 
greater part of them owe their very existence : all owe to it their 
protection and defence, their flourishing commerce, their ready 
and cheap supply of manufactures, their conveniences of luxurious 
or' comfortable life : they owe to the Union in great degree their 
internal improvements, and in no small proportion their most 
active and intelligent population. And now, conceiving that 
they have attained to a strength which will enable them to secure 
these advantages from their own resources, they do not hesitate 
to renounce their most sacred obligations of duty and obedience 
for the illusion of a national independence, which, whatever may 
be its import upon their own fortunes, they persuade themselves 
cannot be anything else than destruction to the prosperity of 
the comrades they seek to abandon. 

It is lamentable to see this false estimate of duty in any sec- 
tion, but our regret is increased by the surprise with which we 
discover so many persons in the border States who have allowed 
themselves to think that, in following the lead of these counsel- 


lors, they will ever find any adequate compensation for the sacri- 
fice they make of the long career of happy fortune opened to 
them by the protection of the Union. 

What is the Real Motive ? Dominion, Empire. 

What, we are now ready to ask, is the real motive for seeking 
this independence ? Can it be for any advantage which a State 
of the Union, and especially any State within the compass of the 
old thirteen, could lawfully and honorably demand from its asso- 
ciates in the Confederacy ? 

In the adoption of the Constitution there was a plighted faith 
volunteered by every member of the Union to observe and keep 
every covenant expressed in that instrument. Each State relied 
upon the faith and honor of its sister State, and upon the pledge 
of the whole people of the United States to abide by the terms 
of that great compact, and to perform every duty it exacted of 
them. In fraternal reliance upon that honor, each and every 
State committed itself to all the responsibilities the Union im- 
posed. Each willingly assumed these responsibilities, in full 
confidence that no ope would ever shrink from its share in the 
participation of the common duty, but that all would religiously 
discharge every obligation of the compact. There was thus a 
perfect assurance given to the nation that whilst all enjoyed the 
profit, the prosperity, and the glory of the Union, all would 
equally adopt its burdens, and make whatever necessary sacrifice 
of individual or State advantage the common good might require. 
This is, in effect, the nature of the social compact presented by 
the Constitution. Certainly, we may say that, after entering 
into such an engagement as this, no State nor section of the 
people could, without great dishonor and breach of faith, refuse 
and abandon the performance of their stipulated obligations to 
their compeers, merely for the sake of making themselves inde- 
pendent. Even if there were an admitted right to retire, every 
consideration of justice would impose upon the malcontent frag- 
ment the duty of appealing to the rest who composed the body 
politic for their consent to a measure which must necessarily be 
an injury to them. How much more imperative is the duty of 
such an appeal when no such right to withdraw is contained in the 
compact, and when the proceeding, unless sanctioned by the 


general consent of the nation, could only be classed in the cate- 
gory of revolution ? To make a decent case of justification for 
revolution, every tribunal of moral law or enlightened opinion 
would hold that, as a preliminary fact, that consent should be 
asked and refused ; and moreover, that the insurgent party 
should be able to show such a violation of compact by the offend- 
ing Government as to produce intolerable oppression, for which 
no remedy was to be found but that of separation. 

Now, nothing is more clear than that neither of these condi- 
tions existed. There was no consent sought for or expected ; but, 
on the contrary, a haste in rushing into rebellion, which one 
might almost believe was intended to prevent the risk of either 
consent or conciliation. The conductors of the movement seemed 
to think, in the words of Sir Lucius O'Trigger, " The quarrel is 
a very pretty quarrel as it stands — we should only spoil it by 
trying to explain it." There was no intolerable oppression, 
or indeed oppression of any kind. The utmost point to which 
any mover of the sedition went, was to affirm that it was 
feared there might be some oppression hereafter — though that 
was not very intelligibly made out in the result of the Pre- 
sidential election, which proved the successful party to be in a 
minority of the whole vote of the country. We had heard, it is 
true, a great deal about the iniquity of import duties and protec- 
tion of domestic industry : but these were only the common 
resources of all Governments ; and indeed, when it concerned 
Southern interests, were the special requisitions of Southern 
policy, which always insisted on the protection of sugar and cot- 
ton, and in past times demanded the highest duties on manufac- 
tures, as exemplified in the recommendation of the minimum 
principle which was introduced into the tariff of 1816 by Mr. 
Calhoun, with the express view of encouraging the manufacture 
of American cotton in order to exclude India fabrics from our 
market. We had heard a complaint that the bounty of the Go- 
vernment had fallen in stinted measure upon the South in the 
expenditures of the revenue ; but the fact was that the public 
treasure was applied in that section to the establishment of forts, 
arsenals, navy-yards, hospitals, custom-houses, mints, and other 
public structures, quite as liberally as they were needed, and 
certainly without any idea of unjust discrimination ; whilst, in 


addition to these expenditures, enormous amounts, far greater 
than were appropriated to any other section, were expended in 
the purchase and defence of Southern territory. 

It might be pertinently asked here, in reference to these com- 
plaints, did the South, by asserting its independence, expect to 
escape the necessity of raising revenue without a resort to im- 
posts ? Did it enter into their plan to abandon the protection of 
sugar, the manufacture of iron, of copper, of cotton, wool, lea- 
ther, glass, or the many other commodities to which Virginia, 
Tennessee, Georgia, and other parts of the South are now devot- 
ing capital, with anticipation of future enlargement ? Would 
they be willing to hazard the experiment of refusing the demands 
of those States on this subject — with that swift remedy of seces- 
sion acknowledged as a fower in their organization ? 

I need say nothing here of the preservation of slave institu- 
tions as a motive to independence ; I have already commented on 
that point ; but I may add a few words on the extension of sla- 
very into the Territories, which has latterly been presented as a 
question of injustice done to the South. In regard to that, I have 
to remark that the recent demand was for the right to plant sla- 
very north of the latitude of 36° 30' — the South had already 
secured the privilege south of that line, where every foot of ter- 
ritory was by law open to the admission of slavery. 

It is a very notable fact, that, from the beginning of the Go- 
vernment, Southern statesmen have refused to allow slavery to 
go north of that line in the Territories. The Northwestern ter- 
ritory, embracing all the States north of the line, was made 
inviolably free soil by the demand of Virginia and the support of 
Southern votes. The Missouri Compromise was also a Southern 
measure, and its passage was hailed as the triumph of the South 
over the North. But was there really any wish to plant slavery 
north of that line ? Is there a man of the South who would have 
engaged in such an adventure, if the prohibition of the Missouri 
Compromise had never been made ? What inducement can be 
imagined which would persuade a Southern planter to abandon 
his productive sugar or cotton field, and to transport his slaves 
into the rigorous climate and to the ungenial cultivation of that 
grain-producing region, which is thronged with free emigrants, 
under whose competition slave labor falls to a mere cipher ? 


And, after all, I close this questioning with one more interro- 
gatory : Would independence help this privilege, supposing it 
were of any value ; w T ould the Territories be open to slave settle- 
ment after the South had renounced the Union, and its projected 
revolution — if that were a destined event* — had become a success ? 

Pursue this inquiry through all the details it may suggest, and 
when you have exhausted your catechism, you will find that the 
whole of these supposed motives for independence are utterly 
baseless ; that they are simply pretexts and nothing more, em- 
ployed as lures to entrap the ignorant or as topics to feed the 
sedition of men who welcome anything that may seem like argu- 
ment to sustain a foregone purpose of revolt. 

The pursuit of independence by these Confederated States 
has a very different aim from the redress of such shallow griefs 
as these. 

Sources of the Bebellion.— True Pathway to them Indicated. 

Whoever shall be able hereafter to reveal the secret history of 
those various conclaves which have held counsel on the repeated 
attempts to invade and conquer — or, as the phrase was, liberate 
Cuba ; whoever shall unfold the schemes of seizing Nicaragua, 
of aiding revolution in Mexico, of possessing Sonora, will make 
some pretty sure advances in disclosing the true pathway to the 
sources of this rebellion. The organization of the Knights of 
the Golden Circle, \nd their spread over the country ; their 
meetings and transactions ; who managed them, and set them on 
to do their appointed work : whoever shall penetrate into the 
midnight which veiled this order from view, will also open an 
authentic chapter in the history of this outbreak. 

A Great Scheme of Dominion in this Plot. 

There was a great scheme of dominion in this plot. The 
fancy of certain Southern politicians was dazed with a vision of 
Empire. Years have been rolling on whilst this brilliant scheme 
was maturing in their private councils, and at intervals startling 
the nation by some unexpected eruption. The design, which lay 
too deep in darkness to be penetrated by the uninitiated, occa- 
sionally rose to the surface in some bold and rash adventure, 
which either the vigilance of Government or the imperfect 


means of success, which the necessity of concealment imposed 
upon it, rendered abortive. The Cuban expeditions miscarried ; 
the Sonora failed ; the Nicaragua forays were defeated — all these 
chiefly by the careful watch of the Government. Large sums 
of money were squandered in these fruitless adventures, and 
many lives were lost. Worse than these mishaps, eager hopes 
were disappointed, and long-indulged dreams dissipated. It was 
found that the Union was in the way ; that the Federal Govern- 
ment was the impediment, and, that as long as the South was 
bound to obey that Government, frustration of these cherished 
schemes was always sure to attend them. This experience bred 
the hostility of thwarted ambition against the Union, and turned 
the thoughts of these agents of mischief towards its destruction. 

Overtures to the Emperor of France. 

Then came the next movement. There is, I think, a better 
foundation than mere rumor for saying that overtures were made, 
before the rebellion broke out, to the Emperor of the French for 
support and patronage in the scheme ; that a very alluring pic- 
ture was presented to him of a great Southern Confederacy, to 
embrace the land of cotton, of sugar, of coffee, of the most pre- 
cious tobaccoes, and of the choicest fruits, of the most valuable 
timber and the richest mines — comprehending the Gulf States, 
Cuba, St. Domingo, and other islands, Mexico, Central America, 
and perhaps reaching even beyond into the borders of South 
America — a great tropical a\id semi-tropical paradise of un- 
bounded affluence of product, secured by an impregnable mono- 
poly created by nature. This large domain was to be organized 
into one Confederate Government, and provided with the cheap- 
est and most docile and submissive of all labor ; its lands were 
to be parcelled into principalities, and landlords were to revel in 
the riches of Aladdin's lamp. This was the grand idea which 
the Emperor was solicited to patronize with his protection, for 
which he was to be repaid in treaty arrangements by which 
France should enjoy a free trade in the products of French in- 
dustry, and precedence in gathering the first fruits of all this 
wealth of culture. Certainly a very dazzling lure this to the 
good will of the Emperor ! 

It is said the Emperor was quite captivated with the first view 


of this brilliant project, but on riper deliberation was brought to 
a pause. The scheme, he discovered, stood on one leg : the 
whole structure rested on slavery, which was much too rickety 
a support to win favor in this nineteenth century with the 
shrewdest of European statesmen. The plot was " too light for 
the counterpoise of so great an opposition." The structure 
might last a few years, but very soon it would tumble down and 
come to nought. And so, it is whispered, the Emperor declined 
the venture. This is a bit of secret history which time may or 
may not verify. From some inklings of that day which escaped 
into open air, I believe it true. We heard various boastings in 
the summer of 1860, of French support to the threatened sepa- 
ration, and there were agents in Europe negotiating for it. 
During all that preliminary period, there was a great deal said 
in the South about reviving the slave trade. 

The Emperor too Wary.— The Hook is next Baited with 
Abolitionism for England. 
When the Emperor refused, this was suddenly dropped, and 
England was then looked to as the ally in the coming revolt. 
Abolition England was to be won by another strategy. The 
Montgomery Convention inserted a clause in the Confederate 
Constitution forbidding the slave trade ; and, oddly enough for a 
Government founded on the central idea of slavery, the com- 
missioners who represented it in England, were authorized to 
assure the British Minister that it was really the old Government 
which was fighting to perpetuate slavery, whilst the new one was 
only seeking free trade : thereby gently insinuating a disinterested 
indifference on the slave question, which might ultimately come 
into full accord with England on that subject. 

The Eebel Government's Platform regarding Slavery,~Its 

Convenient Character. 
These revelations stand in strange contrast with the popular 
theme that has rushed so many into the rebellion. As the 
matter now rests, the rebel Government has quite platform 
enough to be as pro-slavery or as anti-slavery as its European 
negotiations may require ; and if these should utterly fail, there 
is nothing in the constitutional provision to interrupt the African 
slave trade a single day. For what is that provision worth in a 
region where neither courts nor juries would execute the law ? 


The Grand Tropical Empire, as Originally Planned. —Secondary 
Hank assigned to the Border States. 

Whilst this grand idea of tropical extension was seething in 
the Drain of the leaders, and their hopes of fruition were vivid, 
the plan was to confine the revolt to the Cotton States — or, at 
least, to give the Border States a very inferior role in the pro- 
gramme. They might come in when all was adjusted, but were 
to have no share in the primary organization. Every one remem- 
bers how these Border States were flouted in the beginning, and 
told they were not fit to be consulted, and that the only advan- 
tage they could bring to the Southern Confederacy, was that of 
serving as a frontier to prevent the escape of slaves. But when 
the original plan was found to be a failure, the views of the 
managers were chang^I ; the Border States became indispensa- 
ble to any hope of success, and the most active agencies of per- 
suasion, force and fraud were set in motion to bring them in. 
How mournfully did it strike upon the heart of the nation when 
Virginia, in the lead of this career of submission, sank to the 
humiliation of pocketing the affront that had been put upon her, 
and consented to accept a position which nothing but the weak- 
ness of her new comrades induced them to allow her ! 

The Pride of the South Unrighteous— Its Eesentment Unjust— 
Their Punishment is Boomed. 

Since the hope of this broader dominion has come to an end, 
the rebellion is still persistently pursued for the accomplishment 
of its secondary objects. There is still, doubtless, some resi- 
duary expectation that, even without foreign patronage, in the 
event of success, this desire of extension of territory may in 
time be gratified ; but it is no longer the chief object of pursuit. 
The pride of the South, its resentment, its rage are all now en- 
listed in pushing forward to whatever consummation they may 
imagine to be attainable. They now insist on independence from 
the very hatred their disappointments have engendered. But 
they seek it, too, as the only method left for the maintenance of 
that class domination which they have ever enjoyed, and which 
they are now unwilling to surrender. 






A month or two ago, Tennessee gave her answer to the question, — Will 
Tennessee follow the example set her by some of her sisters, and allow herself 
to be made a puppet in the hands of South Carolina? 

What that answer was we all know. What it was to be, was predicted here 
(Philadelphia) weeks beforehand, by one of the most esteemed of our fellow- 
citizens, Col. Watmough. This noble old veteran of the war of 1812, whose 
good fortune it was at that period to be a sharer in the work of covering our 
flag with glory at both extremes of the Union — first on the frontiers of Canada, 
and last at New Orleans — foretold to his friends here what the vote of 
Tennessee was to be. 

When asked why he was so confident on this point, he said: "I know the 
men, I know the stuff' they are made of. At New Orleans, the most exposed 
part of our lines was on the extreme left — the swamps — where, owing to the 
character of the ground, no breastworks could be thrown up; consequently 
there was danger of our lines being turned by the enemy at that point. There 
were these Tennesseans posted; and there did they stand, in the mud and 
mire of that swamp, up to their knees, up to their hips, and without a single 
murmur. Jackson had said to them : 'My friends, I know it is hard to bear, 
but it is a thing which has to be borne; our country's flag must be defended. 
Be yours the glory of defending it at this point, where the service bears hardest 
upon those who render it.' 

"Afterwards," continued the Colonel, "I saw a large proportion of those 
noble fellows in the hospital, prostrated by the fevers brought on by that ex- 
posure.; and at the sight of them, and the vivid recollection which it brought 
with it of the heroic patience with which that exposure had been endured by 
them, my eyes filled with tears. This is the ground of the confidence which I 
feel, as to what the vote which Tennessee is now to give, will be. Her voters 
are the sons and grandsons of those same men whom I saw standing day after 
day in that Louisiana swamp. They will show now, I have no doubt, the same 
devotion to our country's flag which armed their fathers and grandfathers with 
the patience there exhibited by them. 5 ' 

Men of Tennessee ! read the following words of Andrew Jackson. Having 
done so, put this question to yourselves; Whilst writing those words in his last 
will and testament, those words written " In the name of God, Amen" those 
words bequeathing in that holy name, the three "swords of honor" which he 
had received from his grateful countrymen, — had he, or had he not, in his mind 
that same conspiracy to rend this Union asunder and establish "a Southern 
Confederacy," that same conspiracy "to destroy the only good government on 
the globe," the actors in which he, ten years before writing that last will and 
testament, had denounced as " wicked demagogues," invoking upon them the 
doom of " Haman's gallows," and predicting that their "next pretext" would 
be, what we all now know that it has been, "the negro or slavery question?" 
Put this question to yourselves, I say. Put it, each man of you, to his own 
understanding and his own conscience. And, having received the answer 
given by those consciences, then let our country hear your answer to my in- 
quiry: "Those three swords op Andrew Jackson — where are they?" 

On the 1st of May, 1833, Andrew 
Jackson, then holding the highest 
public trust in the gift of our country, 
wrote a private letter to his friend, 
the Rev. A. J. Crawford, of Georgia, 
which letter is, in part, as follows : 

"I have had a laborious task 
here, but nullification is dead, and 
its actors and courtiers will be re- 
membered by the people only to be 
execrated for their wicked designs 
to sever and destroy the only good 
government on the globe, and that 
prosperity and happiness we enjoy 
over every other portion of the world. 
HamarCs gallows ought to be the 
fate of all such ambitious men, who 
would involve our country in a civil 
war and all the evils in its train, 
that they might reign and ride on its 
whirlwind and direct the storm . The 
free people of these United States 
have spoken, and consigned these 
wicked demagogues to their proper 
doom. Take care of your Nullifiers 
— you have them amongst you. 
Let them meet the indignant frowns 
of every man who loves his country. 

41 The tariff, it is well known, was 
a mere pretext." (He then gives 
the proof of this, afforded by the 
recent course of Calhoun, and his 
tools in Congress, on the new tariff 
bill ; which they voted for, although 
it greatly increased the duties on 
coarse woollens and other articles 
consumed by the South, and closes 
with these words :) " Thwefore, the 
Tariff was only the pretext, and 
Disunion and a Southern Con- 
federacy the real object. The next 


On the 7th of June, 1843, the same 
hand which, ten years previously, had 
written that letter to the Rev. Mr. Craw- 
ford, wrote a last will and testament; 
which document is, in part, as follows : 

"•In the name of God, Amen. I, An- 
drew Jackson, Sr., being of sound mind, 
memory, and understanding, .... 
do make, publish, ordain, and declare 
this my last will and testament : 

" First, I bequeath my body to the dust, 
whence it comes, and my soul to God 
who gave it, hoping for a happy immor- 
tality, through the atoning merits of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. 

" Seventh. I bequeath to my well- 
beloved nephew, Andrew J. Donelson, 
son of Samuel Donelson, deceased, the 
elegant sword presented to me by the 
State of Tennessee, with this injunction, 
that he fail not to use it, when necessary, 
in support and protection of our glorious 
Union, and for the protection of the Con- 
stitutional rights of our beloved country, 
should they be assailed by foreign enemies 
or domestic traitors. 

" Eighth. To my grandnephew, An- 
drew Jackson Coffee, I bequeath the ele- 
gant sword presented to me by the Rifle 
Company of New Orleans, commanded 
by Captain Beal, as a memento of my re- 
gard, and to bring to his recollection the 
gallant services of his deceased father, 
Gen. John Coffee, in the late Indian and 
British wars, under my command, and his 
gallant conduct in the defence of New 
Orleans, in 1814-15, with this injunction, 
that he wield it in protection of the rights 
secured to the American citizen under 
our glorious Constitution, against all in- 
vaders, whether foreign foes or domestic 

" I bequeath to my beloved grandson, 
Andrew Jackson,. son of Andrew Jack- 
son, Jr., and Sarah, his wife, the sword 
presented to me by the citizens of Phila- 
delphia, with this injunction, that he 
always use it in defence of the Consti- 
tution and our glorious Union, and the 
perpetuation of our Republican system.' 

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